Apple faces another antitrust lawsuit over its App Store fees, this time brought by a group of French iOS app developers who are suing, and this point is certainly striking, the tech giant in their home state of California. The plaintiffs accuse Apple of anti-competitive practices by allowing a single app store on iOS, which gives it a monopoly on the distribution of applications for this operating system and, directly associated, the ability to force developers to pay high fees. commissions for in-app purchases.
The lawsuit argues that these commissions, to which must be added the annual fee of 99 dollars to be part of the Apple developer program (something that is not necessary to download the Apple SDK, but is necessary to publish apps on the store), reduce developer revenue and thus stifle innovation. This would not happen, according to the suit, if Apple allowed third-party stores and payment systems. However, and in this regard, we must remember that in the agreements reached by Apple in the Netherlands and South Korea, in-app payments through third-party platforms are also subject to commissions by Apple.
Complaining iOS developers include Society du Figarowhich develops the Figaro news app, L’Equipe 24/24which develops the sports news and streaming application L’Équipe, and I GESTa French association made up of content publishers and online services based in France.
The group andHe is represented by the American law firm Hagens Bermanwhich last year reached a $100 million settlement with Apple over App Store policies and recently filed a $1 billion case also against Cupertino for antitrust issues with Apple Pay.
Hagens Berman Managing Partner Steve Berman has a long history of winning against the tech giants, having secured a $560 million settlement against Apple in connection with e-book pricing and a $90 million settlement on behalf of Android developers. He is working with Paris-based antitrust lawyer Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi on the proposed class action lawsuit.
«We just struck a deal with Apple and we’re ready to hit the ground runningBerman said in a statement. «Our firm is glad that iOS developers from other countries seek the same justice that we achieved for American developers. We believe they, too, have been unfairly subjected to Apple’s stifling App Store policies, and we intend to hold Apple to the law..»
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